The Church believes in the truth of the whole Bible and that it does not contain any mistakes or errors. We believe that nothing should be added to, or subtracted from the Bible. The Bible is our only source of authority for what to believe and how to live. We believe in the truths rediscovered at the reformation in the 16th Century. These are sometimes summarised in the five “alones”, Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The Bible alone is our source of authority, and everything is to the glory of God alone. The Church believes in its copy of the 1689 Baptist confession of faith. What follows is something which we have compiled ourselves as a contemporary expression of our faith. It is intended to be entirely consistent with the historic statements of the Christian faith referred to above.
We believe that there is one God, a Spirit, eternal, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, who originally created, and still controls, all things. He is beyond time and space yet is present everywhere.
And we believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, that is to say, that God is one and yet God is three persons – the Father, not created but existing – the Son, not created but eternally begotten of the Father, by whom all things were made – and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, neither created nor begotten but proceeding from the Father and the Son.
[Bible references: Mark 12:29; John 4:24; Psalms 90:2; Revelation 4:8; Psalms 147:5; Exodus 34:6; Genesis 1; Hebrews 1:3; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 139:7-10; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Exodus 3:14; John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:2; John 15:26 ; Galatians 4:6; John 3:3-8]
We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired men of old to write the Holy Scriptures, by which we mean the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. They alone are the Word of God. They tell us all we need to know about Him and they show us how we ought to live.
[Bible references: 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Psalms 19:7-11]
The Scriptures tell us that God made Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, as His highest act of creation. He made them perfect but they disobeyed Him and by their sin they infected not only themselves but all their descendants, so that all men and women are born in sin and can of themselves neither live with God nor turn to Him.
[Bible references: Genesis 1; Genesis 3; Romans 5:12-21; Romans 3:23; Psalms 51:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Revelation 21:27; Ephesians 2:1]
Nevertheless it is the everlasting purpose of God to give eternal life to those men and women whom He has loved in Jesus Christ, a number known to Him but beyond human counting, and to save them from their sins. His purpose was foreshadowed in His choice of the ancient Jews as His separate people and is being fulfilled in the calling to faith in Christ of men and women of all nations. He called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to the land of Canaan and from his descendants He formed the nation of Israel as His chosen people. He delivered them from slavery in Egypt and established them in Canaan under His divine code of law, religion and government. They often rejected His rule and for centuries they passed through periods of oppression by other nations, captivity and dispersion, yet throughout their history God preserved a remnant of faithful men and women and promised by His prophets to send a Saviour.
[Bible references: Ephesians 1:1-13; John 10:14; Revelation 7:9-17; Matthew 1:21; Deuteronomy 7:6-9; Galatians 3:6-14; Hebrews 11:8-16; Exodus 20; Psalms 78; Acts 7; Isaiah 66:2; Luke 2:25-38; Deuteronomy 18:15; Malachi 3:1-6; Isaiah 53]
We believe that more than 2000 years ago Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, our Saviour, was made man. We believe that He is both God and man – God, of the substance of the Father, eternally begotten, and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world. He was miraculously conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit and was born of her in Bethlehem.
At about the age of 30 He was baptized, called twelve disciples, and began His public ministry. For three years He went about Galilee and Judaea healing the sick, teaching people how to live and preaching the coming of the kingdom of God. On the last evening of His earthly life He took bread and wine and gave to his disciples, telling them to eat and drink, in remembrance of Him, the symbols of His body to be broken and of His blood to be shed. At the instigation of the chief priests He was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate. He died and was buried. On the third day He rose again from the dead and appeared to His disciples. He commissioned them to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and He promised to be present with His church to the end of the world. After 40 days He ascended into heaven. Through Him as the ever living Mediator between God and man, we come to the Father by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
[Bible references: Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; Luke 1:35; Luke 2:1-19; Luke 3:21-23; Luke 4:1-32; Luke 5:10-11; Luke 6:13-16; Mark 1; Luke 22:14-20; Mark 15:10-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 2:18; 1 Timothy 2:5]
We believe that Jesus Christ was without sin and that by the shedding of His blood in the willing sacrifice of Himself, He put away the sins of His people, so that everyone who receives Him by faith (which is the gift of God) is counted righteous before God and finds forgiveness.
[Bible references: 1 Peter 1:18-21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26-27; Hebrews 10:12-18; John 10:17-18; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:21-28; Romans 4]
We believe that at Pentecost, after the ascension, the Holy Spirit came on the disciples of Jesus and that they carried out His command to teach not only the Jews but all nations. Under their preaching men and women repented of sin, believed in Jesus Christ as Saviour, were baptized and came together in fellowship for hearing the Word, for prayer and for taking together bread and wine in the communion of the Lord’s Supper. This fellowship, which has continued ever since and will continue until the end of time, is the Church of God. We understand the Church in two senses. In the widest sense, it is the innumerable company of the people of God in every age who have been, are, or will be called into His Kingdom. In the local sense, it means the fellowship of believers meeting together as part of the universal Church, and it is in this way that we ourselves meet together. The Church is the mystical body of Christ.
[Bible references: Acts 2 and following chapters; Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 11:26; Romans 1:7; Ephesians 1:1; Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:10 & 22-23]
We believe in the new birth, that is to say, that the Holy Spirit gives new life to all who are chosen in Jesus Christ. He teaches them their need of a Saviour, brings them to repent of sin, and gives them faith to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. This experience is what we understand as conversion. Converts follow the example of Christ and are baptized. This shows their union with Christ in His death in which old things are passed away; and their rising again in Him to a life in which all things are become new. And the work of the Spirit once begun continues to the end of their lives. By His influence they follow the teaching of the Scriptures and the example of Jesus and by Him they love God and their fellow men and women.
[Bible references: John 3:1-8; Acts 16:14 & 30-34; Acts 11:18; Luke 18:13; John 3:14-21 & 36; Acts 3:19; Romans 6:1-11; John 10:28-29; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:21; Mark 12:30-31; 1 Corinthians 13].
We believe that Jesus Christ will come to earth again in majesty:that at His coming all the dead shall rise again to be judged by Him with those who are living:that all who die out of Christ will be lost:that all who are saved in Jesus Christ will go to be for ever with the Lord in the life of the world to come.
[Bible references: Matthew 4:30-31; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Matthew 25:31-46]